The Mount of the Holy Cross, with an elevation of 14,005 feet, is the 51st highest peak in the state of Colorado and is most famous for its east-facing couloir in the form of a 1,500 by 750-foot cross which becomes highly visible when filled with snow. The mountain was discovered in 1869, first climbed in 1873, and organized Christian pilgrimages to it began in the 1920s. The Mount of the Holy Cross was once a National Monument, but lost that status in 1950 because of the fact that the cross had lost much of its distinctness due to erosion.
The best approach to the summit (which gives you a look at the mountain's namesake cross) is over Notch Mountain and along Halo Ridge. To
reach the Halfmoon trailhead, take exit 171 off I-70 and head south on US 24 to three miles past Minturn, at which point there will be a
forest access sign and Forest Service Road 707 (aka Tigiwon Road) on the right. Tigiwon Road, which you'll take for 8.5 miles to the
Halfmoon trailhead, is a rough one, and a high-clearance vehicle is recommended.
This page last updated 8/15/06